The Benefit of Protective Layers

Did you know each and every one of you has layers? It's not a bad thing.  As you will find out, it is a good thing. There is a benefit to protective layers.  I often tell people that I am either an onion or a diamond. Now, some people might think, Oh, I'm going to say you're a diamond, because diamonds are so beautiful. But truly, onions have so many benefits. So, why would I compare the two?

Well, we all know that onions have all kinds of layers, you can peel and peel and peel away the layers, right? But, diamonds, when you turn them around, they have different sides .... different facets to them.  You can see different things reflecting in them.  So, those sides are different facets .... different layers, so to speak, or different sides of my personality so to speak.

As I was walking through some trees, I noticed this one.  As you can see, there are, what appears to be, two layers of bark instead of just one.  I have never seen a tree before with two layers of outer bark.  My husband, who was with me and used to be a woodworker, was also unfamiliar with a tree that would have two layers of outer bark.  After researching, it was determined that this was a White Oak Tree and, what seems to be, a second layer of bark is actually damage called a "smooth patch" from a fungus.  Despite the fungus, the tree made the necessary adjustments to accommodate the damage and remain healthy and strong.   As part of the outer bark was removed, it maintained and hardened this underlying surface to replicate another bark area.

Now, think about how layers, especially the outer layer of anything .... clothing for example .... your outer layer provides that protective force against the elements .... rain, extreme tempuratures, etc.  Or, consider your skin.  It has seven different layers.  The job of the most outer layer is to protect. And so that's kind of what we do to we kind of show our outer layer to most people. And that's our protective self, so to speak.

Just like the onion, the diamond or the tree, we have personality layers.  The outer layer (layer that people see) is the protective layer.  It is often referred to as the "Mask Self" layer.  And, there's a reason for that.  We become what we need to become for whoever we're talking to.  It allows for a protective barrier.

Not only can our layers provide protection but they can also be very telling. For instance, look at the bark on this tree. Clearly, it has been damaged by fire at some point in time. And yet, this tree has continued to survive.  As you look around, you may even see clear evidence of trees damaged by severe tornadic winds and still continue to survive.  Even though these trees have this protective layer, damage was still done.  However, the tree did what it could to build resilience to continue to live and thrive.  

Just like the trees, we may not always be able to choose what comes our way.  Trauma seems to be part of life.  However, we can choose how we react to adversities.  It can either build resilience or tear down.  It starts with a proper mindset which will be key to successfully enduring a trial.  And, remember, being resilient does not translate to being "stoic". Having the ability to reach out to others for support is a key part of gaining resilience. 

Many with gut or autoimmune disorders require resilience to make it through the day-to-day challenges they face.  I know, I am one of them.   I have many resources at my fingertips to help overcome some of those fires, tornadoes and fungi that is being thrown at you.  What will you allow your protective layers and resilience do for you?

Resilience is developed through endurance.  Successful endurance is a result of your protective layers.  Listen to them. 

Additional resources here and here to assist in maintaining your resilience and endurance.